Sunday 27 February 2022

Rakuten Mobile shows off their Open RAN Portfolio

(Click on image to enlarge)

During the Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2021 earning call, President of Rakuten Mobile, Yoshihisa Yamada gave a short summary of the progress of the mobile network. During that, he also showed the Open RAN product portfolio spanning to address diverse deployment use cases.

The portfolio can be seen in the picture above and you can listen to his part of the talk in the video below: 

You can download the slides from here.

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Friday 18 February 2022

UK will make Street Furniture accessible for Telecoms Infrastructure

The UK government has announced new plans to slash red tape from 5G roll out and improve mobile phone connectivity. For this to happen, street lights, bus shelters and traffic lights will be allowed host more mobile network equipment thereby helping boost mobile coverage as part of a new scheme to cut red tape and install more 4G and 5G kit.

The following is from the press release:

Eight winning projects will receive a share from the £4 million Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator (DCIA) to explore how digital software can help simplify local authority processes when telecoms operators request access to publicly-owned buildings and curbside infrastructure.

Street furniture such as road signs and CCTV poles can be used to improve 4G coverage but they are also integral to the roll out of 5G, which requires a larger number of smaller ‘cell sites’ - where antennas and other telecoms equipment are placed to form a network - to ensure seamless coverage and to meet surging demand for connectivity.

However, telecoms firms can often find it difficult and time consuming to acquire the information needed to verify a structure is suitable for hosting network equipment - such as its location, physical dimensions, proximity to the street or access to a power source - which is slowing down the pace of deployment.

In response, the government will invest in piloting the latest innovations in digital asset management platforms. This software will enable local councils to more easily share data mobile companies need to accelerate their roll out plans and deliver the revolutionary benefits of 4G and 5G to people and businesses.

From what we can see, this news has been well received by operators.

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Friday 11 February 2022

THOR - Verizon's Disaster Response COW

When we wrote about how Verizon uses satellite connectivity to restore services after hurricanes, someone made us aware of THOR, the Verizon disaster response vehicle in a league of its own.

The Verizon Response Team (VRT) has a collection of different types of field equipment, which they refer to as 'The Barnyard'. This includes COWs (Cell On Wheels), COLTs (Cell On Light Trucks), CROWs (Cellular Repeater On Wheels) and GOATs (Generator On A Trailer). The latest addition to this is THOR (Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response).

The press release points out:

THOR is National Incident Management System — or NIMS-1 — compliant and offers full radio interoperability and onboard Joint Operations Center services. It provides a multitude of connectivity options, spanning private 5G, commercial 4G LTE, Land Mobile Radio and tactical radio, wireless networking, microwave, mesh and more. Other components include 4G/5G radios, a rear command center, a camera, a six-seat cabin and an exterior touch screen display.

It also comes equipped with a tethered drone to capture an aerial view that can be fed over the network to devices on the ground and the command center below, potentially helping those in public safety or the military with risk and damage assessment, situational awareness or search and rescue operations.

As a prototype, there are currently no plans to build a second THOR, as designs for future 5G-enabled response vehicles continue to evolve.

Here is a video with more details of THOR.

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